Archive for the ‘guilds’ Category

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Secret Squirrel

March 25, 2010

As Berathe has pointed out, more eloquently than me, I’m arranging the second in a series of ‘secret santa’ arrangements for our LotRO guild. The first was a Christmas sweet swap, where we bought local sweeties to mail to guild members, Easter seemed to suggest chocolate, and yesterday I received a very posh little Easter egg as part of the swap. Was awesome.

It reminds you that guild members are real people, and it’s always nice to get little surprise packages in the post.

And it led to me chatting with Spinks yesterday about how one of our guild members is keen on a cheese swap sometime. I think that’s more because they all know I hate cheese, and because we have plenty of members living in good cheese-producing regions. It’s not a bad idea. I think the best swaps to do are those where something very local can be sent – because that highlights the diversity of a guild/kinship.

But, that didn’t stop us joking about what other swaps we could have, which included a ‘random’ swap (proper Secret Santa style), a sock swap (blame Spinks) and a recipe swap (where you provide the non-perishable ingredients too).

I don’t want to swamp people with it though, so it may well take a rest till Xmas 2010… and then I will put a poll up for the guild to decide. I’d love to do a wider one too, with other guilds, or with twitter friends, but I wonder if the organisation would kill me…

[and, because I chose to post today – a big happy birthday to my sister, Spinks]

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The Name Game

January 17, 2010

LotRO has 12-person raids, on the whole. We go on fridays and sundays, on the whole.

Tonight, as our group formed, I noticed the first 4 members all had names that started with vowels. And then we started to play the name game – working out which people who raided in the kin had names that started with a vowel that we could incorporate, and whether we could get a rounded group that way.

I have a feeling I’ll be playing this and other name games all night. Next, I was thinking how another kin Captain whose name starts with a B would manage, and decided he could try for a group that had names starting A,B,C, etc.

It’s a silly thought and perhaps an odd way to return to talking about games on this blog. But I had it, so I thought I’d share.

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Oops, did I forget my blog?

November 26, 2009

What can I say? Blame my friend who sent me Dragon Age: Origins. Blame work, for asking me to do some overtime. And blame me, for being a self-proclaimed slacker.

Am enjoying Dragon Age so far, but I only started it yesterday and am taking it quite slow. It’s also the EU Welcome Back week for LotRO so I’m showing Spinks round some of Moria she hasn’t seen yet and Lothlorien too. Next week is the launch of Siege of Mirkwood and that will definitely take up some of my time, though considering many of my ‘stable-ish’ group are away or starting new jobs/settling into new jobs, I’m sure I’ll be able to spare some time for Dragon Age. I’m definitely going to try to (for variety, if nothing else). I intend to add it to the very few computer games I’ve played through to the end.

In the meantime, I’ve been organising a sweet/chocolate-only Secret Santa for the kin in LotRO. I heartily recommend it, it wasn’t half as hard to organise as I thought. Get some interest, get people to send you their addresses, and then pair people up so that everyone gets sent something. I’ve set a £3 suggested spending limit, with posting that should take it to around £5, and I’ve tried to mix up the mainland EU/Scandinavia and UK players. I don’t normally get that involved in the social organising side. I used to do a bit of instance leading, but recently I’ve been more of a wallflower kin-wise. But while we were all discussing favourite local sweets, I thought it’d be a nice way of showing off one of the most important sides of ourselves (our favourite sweeties, of course). If it goes well, I’m going to suggest a chocolate-based one for Easter. And we’ll see how it goes. Do it! It’s been a lot less hassle than I thought.

More soon, honestly.

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Does everyone hate DKP?

October 14, 2009

Since when did DKP become a polarising factor? I quite like it, and I’ve seen a few different versions. Each DKP system  can be tweaked for a specific raiding group/guild, it’s up to you how you award points and how to spend them. But it seems people either love it, or despise the very concept.

Dragon Kill Points. Something we’ve all become aware of since the old Everquest days. Who knew they’d become so fixed in the MMO world?

In the days of massive raid numbers in Dark Age of Camelot we had a pretty simple system going. Turn up for a Sidi raid, get 10 points. Spend points each week bartering for items that dropped at the guildhouse of the guild running said raids. Either save up points for armour or weapons (at say 40 or 50 points per piece), or spend 10 points on the cheaper loot, such as respec stones. Perhaps from this I started with a good opinion of DKP.

What makes it less fair?

1. Bind on Acquire loot that requires not just your presence, but the presence of the character you want to have the item in the raid on the night/day it drops.

2. Non-fixed groups in the days when raid size is mandated by the game. So if you’re not lucky enough to be picked for the raid, but you signed up for it, is that rewarded or not, and at what level?

There’s probably a thousand other little nuances of unfairness… being docked points for turning up a little late through no fault of your own, or for mucking about during the raid. As I said at the start, each DKP system can be tweaked to be that little bit different, depending on game and group.

If I was doing a LotRO Moria one, I’d probably award points for helping people get radiance gear, but that already gives benefit to those who can play more often and have the time, or those with especially useful classes. All things you don’t and shouldn’t think about when picking a character class you love and want to spend time with.

Our kin in LotRO doesn’t use DKP. It uses something called the Suicide Kings method. I hate the name. It was, of course, devised for World of Warcraft and is supposed to suit casual raiding where loot isn’t the primary concern. We have separate SK lists for barter coins and set gear loot. But anything that isn’t covered, such as jewellery ends up being rolled for because everyone knows that if you choose not to ‘suicide’ over it, it goes to a roll. It’s not the most satisfactory system, and I have a few problems with it. But it’s hard to think up a DKP system for our kin that would work.

Why? Because we’re a supposedly casual kin (and in many ways we are casual), but we also have a core of raiders, such as myself, who have both the time and the desire to hit raids hard. Currently our pool of raiding-geared characters means we have quite a rotation system set up, and we need a specific member of the kin to decide who goes and on what night. It’s not ideal, but it lets the widest pool of people participate in the raid. Of course, it also means some of the more focussed raiders have to sit out, and don’t really get to choose what nights they sit out on.

And, at some stage, we’ll have enough geared up people to run the raid twice, but who wants to go on the discovery (ie. full of wipes) raid, when you can go with the established group. It’s a problem that isn’t going away. In trying to please everyone on both sides of the casual/more hardcore divide, we’re left with a compromise raid. It’s working, but it’s definitely more of a slog.

Lootwise, I generally don’t care too much about loot. But it always makes me sit back and wonder what the truly fair way to do it is. It isn’t fair to be told you can’t go even if you have the time and commitment to. But then it also isn’t fair that I ended up with a class that gets to go every time I want, more or less, purely because Captains are seen as raid-desirable and very few people in our kin have managed to get one to 60 and geared them up. While recognising it’s not fair, I also like it, from my perspective. I don’t get time to forget the fights, I see it work with different sets of people, and of course, I keep my place on the SK list. 

I can sometimes show my hardcore colours. I’d like a loot system that rewarded punctuality, helping others, sitting out if you have to, participating, coming with a full set of potions, tokens, and having traited appropriately. Less so the first kills, because it’s no longer in anyone’s power to decide if they get to go on the night we kill something. Multiple wipes would be nice to reward, as they cost a fair bit in LotRO – I’d rather reward those than the first kills, I think. But, I’d also like the full Captain set, and that ain’t going to happen anytime soon. Shame, it has a nice bonus – which not all the sets do. 

I wish I had the time and energy to work up a DKP system I felt would work for our kin. But truthfully, many people don’t see any problem with SK. They raid when they can, and get gear in some kind of rotation made fairer by the intervention of the raid leader.  And while that’s the case, there’s no real push to change things.

It’s a bit of a ramble. But I mainly wanted to spew my thoughts out to see if anyone out there had any kind of solution to a raid looting system for a casual-ish raid with rotating members, I don’t really think there’s one out there. But it’s been a while since we went and looked, and I want to be fully prepared to suggest something better for the Mirkwood raids on Dol Guldur, if possible.

ps,. this post is made more awkward by the fact I know some of my kinmates read this blog. Don’t take any offence anyone, and don’t read into this anything other than what it is, a consideration of how much I dislike SK for our current loot distribution system. With the new, revamped NtC blog, I’m spending very little time considering other people’s opinions and this is just me, on the moment I write the ramble! Liable to change my mind in 5 minutes, but unprepared to change what I write to save any hurt feelings.

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Update

August 26, 2009

Ok, so I haven’t come back and blogged properly. I almost certainly will at some point.

But right now I’m home and feeling a bit down in the dumps. But thanks for all the kind thoughts and comments, they really do mean a lot, even when I don’t reply. Which I do a lot.

Am playing LotRO almost exclusively. It’s where my main kin/guild is. It’s where my closest online friends play, and they definitely distract me from the blah-ness of everything else at the moment. Except, I know I’m starting to self-fulfil my despondency by being less than enthusiastic about things.

We raided. We did ok. I enjoyed bits of it. But not perhaps the traditional bits. And it made me feel a bit pointless in the grand scheme of things. Even though, I know I play an awesome Captain with a remarkably good sword (thanks to friends who got it for me while I was away!). I’m lucky, they’re a good bunch. And I treat them pretty shoddily on the whole.

Which makes me feel bad too.

And I know it’s all just a cycle of grief from my dad, and stress from having to think about his belongings, and wanting to go outside and scream a lot, but knowing it won’t help all that much. And they’re there for me, I just don’t want to push them away, and yet I can feel myself doing it as a defence mechanism.

Sometimes we’re strange alien people. And sometimes we blog about it.

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Ramblings

March 6, 2009

Taking a few days out to deal with all the overtime and social things I need to do, including going to see Watchmen on sunday morning as it’s really my only free day!

Monday is the trip to Dublin to see GOA, of course, and I’m a little nervous about it all. I’m no journalist, but luckily Ardua will be there and I already met him at Games Day, so that abates the nerves somewhat. Wish Spinks was with me, but I picked a really bad day for her, it seems!

I haven’t had the time to do the Bitter Rivals event except for some of the first day, so I’m hoping on sunday I can at least see a little more of it. I like Warhammer’s live events more than other games, because they’re quite different and mindless, I don’t feel I have to do them and the new scenarios are generally quite fun. I finished Heavy Metal but none of the others. Bad me!

I’m still looking forward to playing my Warrior Priest, not least because LotRO is still in flux for me due to guild drama, which has escalated to our guild leader quitting and leaving… and the calls for no-one else to leave have come on the day I decided I should leave. I should charge for my excellence in timing. So instead I’m avoiding, and avoiding is something I’m good at!

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Seasons of…

March 1, 2009

Our guild in WAR is merging. So Insult to Injury will be no more on the Burlok server. We started as one of the largest guilds, though that was never our intention. A bunch of 25+ players with a casual outlook all banding together pre- and post-launch to enjoy WAR. Some we knew would only be in for a while, because of other commitments. Plenty didn’t find what they wanted in WAR. Including me for a while as I took in Moria. I think it’ll be the last time I create or join a guild pre-launch, and I’m personally happy with the merge. But, of course, it is a saddish moment in time. I’ll be logging on sometime today to get my invites to the new guild, and I do look forward to meeting them a little better, but for today, I’ll be in mourning for our loss.

In LotRO, two of my closest friends have left our guild. The first Watcher raid is scheduled for wednesday and I signed up for it, so I’ll be going. Mostly because I’d feel shitty about dropping out. But I feel a bit shitty anyway. I’m not very happy in the guild, but the unknown worries me also. I know I’m not very active in guild stuff anymore, and part of that stems from my blah-ness overall with everything that’s gone on. Of course, that’s balanced with the fact there are still many people I really enjoy chatting and grouping with in the guild.

I’m just not sure I can make my future there if I can’t shake off some of the things I’m feeling right now. Added to that, my younger sister is also in the guild, and I never want to do anything that makes things worse for her. But, I just can’t shake off some of the unhappiness. Have agreed to talk to a guild officer about it when I actually have some time online. And I will be giving the raid a chance, but I do know what my heart is telling me. To either make a decision or to take a break from LotRO, just as they release more content I want to see. Every time I’ve left a game, it’s come close after leaving a guild, or guild drama. And I know that two people leaving has already kind of pre-empted some of those feelings for me, whatever I do. I dislike confrontation and I dislike discomfort. And I’m not sure I can stay there and not feel these things. Suddenly I see why server moves are a useful offering, but then again, I want to be able to chat with my friends whatever happens.

Will this be the end to my LotRO? I feel in the middle of a bad situation. If it were solely down to me, I’d probably have left the guild a while back in a fit of anger. But I’m no longer angry, now I’m just sad and feeling no real urge to log on at all and deal with the situation. So, there. I wasn’t ever going to mention most of this. But it’s 5am on a sunday, and these things wrap around my brain and get replayed over and over. I can’t see a good way out. And I curse my female-ness, which I’m sure is a part of how I’m feeling.