The Queue

The Queue: I’ll get the truth for you tonight

Anyone around here like Therapy? — the band, not the psychological treatment. I mean, good on you if you like that one, but I was talking about the band. They’re one of my favorites, and I recommend you check them out.

Nothing to do with The Queue, just a band I like.

Anyway, your questions, I try and answer. Spoiler alert for Legion.


A_LITTLE_LOST

QftQ: What do you do when your guild atmosphere completely changes? When what used to be a social, all-inclusive guild now seems like it is run by a clique of officers?

Sure, we had officers before, for routine things like setting up bank tabs or making someone on the raid team eligible for guild repairs, but now they hang out in a separate vent channel, or in officer chat. We wouldn’t really know they were in officer chat, except it seems to get mentioned a lot. “So sorry I missed what you said, there was this hilarious thing in officer chat!”

Now suddenly, we use a loot council (the council composed of the guild officers) instead of the more open roll for MS/OS.

Other fairly large changes and new policies I could mention that affect our guild members (around 300 or so), with no real input from others, just communication after the fact that this is what has been decided (by the officers).

I realize it’s not a democracy — not everyone gets a say in every minor decision. But a little communication and transparency might at least give the impression that other, non-officer opinions are being considered. Any suggestions are seemingly brushed off with remarks such as “we’re taking care of it” or “we’ll handle it.”

Not really feeling that welcoming anymore …

First off, I would be remiss in not mentioning Scott Andrews’ excellent Officer’s Quarters column here at Blizzard Watch. He talks a lot about issues just like the ones you mentioned and I’d suggest reading his advice, it’s most likely vastly superior to mine.

Now that I’ve said that, I’ll give you my inferior answer.

I’ve left several guilds in my time. Sometimes I just didn’t feel welcome or a part of the group. Sometimes I didn’t mesh with a new culture, either going too ‘hardcore’ or too ‘casual’ for my tastes. One time I left because the GM was driving me nuts. The last guild I left I did so because I felt like I wasn’t able to play at the level they were anymore, I just didn’t have the time and my health was terrible. So here are the questions I think you need to ask yourself:

  • Are my concerns valid?
  • Is anyone listening to my concerns, if they are valid?
  • Does the guild value me and my time as much as it expects me to value the time of others?
  • Am I happy here?

If the answer to the first question is yes, and the rest are all no, then I think it’s time for you to seriously consider leaving. I understand how hard a decision that can be, believe me. And if there are people willing to listen to your concerns and value you and the time you put in, then it’s absolutely worth staying and trying to fix things. But ultimately, if you’re unhappy and it feels like the guild culture has passed you by, leaving isn’t a bad thing. I’ve met a lot of people over the years I’ve liked quite a bit on my travels. You could too.

I hope this doesn’t come off as glib or as pushing you to leave. I wouldn’t want that. But you are worth being considered, respected and listened to, and if the guild isn’t doing so, that’s not on you, that’s on them. Also, it might be that the guild likes the changes. If you don’t, you’ll just be unhappy fighting them. So keep it in mind.


BARONOFTHELAKE

So I’m thinking of retiring from raid tanking.  While I do enjoy it, the commitment level (having to be present at every raid) and presence of mind needed is getting to be too much for me.  Would you consider it selfish to jump back into dps?  I’ve been either tanking or healing for raiding because that is what others need for so long that I feel guilty for thinking of being a somewhat laid back raider.

Well, I’ve done this on both sides — I’ve gone from tanking to DPS and I’ve gone from DPS to tanking. Some realities I’ll mention:

  • DPSing is not actually more laid back than tanking. It’s an entirely different kind of stressful. You go from being important to being less important. People don’t heal you as fast. You’re expected to avoid more damage. You suddenly have to worry about an entirely different kind of raid performance. You’ll have to unlearn certain habits — depending on the fight, you may find out you’re completely ignorant of certain encounter mechanics.
  • If your raid group doesn’t have a tank ready, you’ll likely have a hard time doing this. Have you been passing offspec gear out to potential tanks? Now’s a good time to find out if anyone is interested in tanking before you drop this on your guild and force them to start recruiting.
  • If you don’t want to tank anymore, that’s an absolutely valid way to feel. It does burn you out to always have to be there, can’t miss a day, always have to be up on the mechanics and make calls and otherwise tell people what to do. It’s even worse if you’re doing any kind of raid leading while you’re tanking. I have been here. I know it can feel like you’re letting everyone down, but ultimately this is a game and if you’re not enjoying it you won’t play as well. Better they get a tank who wants to tank than force you to do it and resent it.
  • Does your guild have any room for DPS? Only one tanking class can play as ranged DPS. If your raid is full up on DPS, they may not be happy to have you decide “Oh, I’m DPS now” and take a raid spot from one of them. It’s worth being clear on this one.

What’s funny to me is I always end up doing the opposite, going tank mode at the end of the expansion instead of the other way around, usually because someone does what you’re thinking of doing. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just interesting from my perspective.


CHRTH

Q4TQ: Which of the four leveling zones do you plan to do first in Legion? I’m torn between Stormheim and Highmooontain.

Azsune. I really want to see what Azshara did there.


KEVINKAZ

Finally met a pair of WoW friends that I’ve known for 8+ years in person for the first time last night (they decided to vacation in my hometown and meet each other in person for the first time as well).  Such a great, fun, and sort of surreal experience!

Q4tQ: Have you breached the digital friendship barrier and met any of your WoW (or other online game) friends in person?  If so, what was your experience?

I have, yes.

They were nice people and I enjoyed meeting them.

Sorry, not every story is dramatic. I even went to a cookout. Had brisket. Petted a dog and a horse. All in all I’d give it a thumb’s up.


WARSZAW

My boost was used on a Warrior and its at 100 and “my main.” I regret not playing a warrior more often to higher levels than 30-40 in the past. They are quite fun.

Not really much to say here, I approve of you playing a Warrior. They are fun indeed. But I’d never boost one, since I have so many at various levels anyway.


SLYNTH

I’ve seen some discussions about WoW needing to be more ‘dark.’  While I acknowledge that we usually win our battles, IMO the costs are often staggering.  Under our watch we’ve destroyed near immortals, we’ve awakened slumbering monstrosities, obliterated sacred forests, and generally wrought destruction and suffering everywhere we tread.

Take Keristrasza as one small example.  She winds up as Malygos’s consort against her will and descends into madness until we have to kill her.  Examples of this kind of thing in WoW are very numerous.

So question for the Queue-iverse, just how ‘dark’ should WoW be, and has Blizzard done a good job balancing the game’s tone?

See, I would argue that there’s a difference between just wanting WoW to be ‘dark’ or ‘darker’ and wanting the stakes to be elevated by a sense of real consequences. Using Keristrasza as an example, her fate is horrible (and frankly Malygos rapes her by using his power to force her to replace his consort — he robs her of volition, of choice) but it doesn’t have any real stakes for me, the player. I’m horrified by what happens to her, but I go in and kill her almost immediately. It’s raised and resolved and nothing really changes. Now, if I got to know Keri — if she was a quest giver for several zones, if I knew and respected her more, then her fate would have more narrative weight.

(I still think the whole thing was a distasteful misstep on Blizzard’s part. Have Malygos imprison her? Sure. Have him try and get secrets of the Red Dragonflight out of her? I can see that. But the whole ‘force her to be my consort’ bit, I really hate that.)

In general, what I’m looking for isn’t a darker story. Legion is going to be plenty dark enough for me. What I’m looking for is a sense of it mattering. When we chewed through the Iron Horde’s Warlords like they were a bag of circus peanuts and we actually liked circus peanuts for some weird reason, it robbed Warlords of a lot of dramatic power. These guys were going to conquer Azeroth? How? We took four or five of them out in what felt like a stupidly small amount of time. Kargath Bladefist was the first raid boss we killed. He wasn’t even an end boss. Having there be a feeling of ‘these guys might actually beat us‘ is important to make us care about what’s happening.

Okay, that’s the Queue for this Friday. I’m covering Saturday, so remember to ask me many questions. I will handle them.

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