Holy crap 2 posts in a day! Shit just got real!
After my last post about the Lull, I got to thinking about how other games have been distracting players away from WoW. It’s happened before. Aion, SWTOR, Rift. New games come out, people go play them, then they come back. This year it’s D3 Reaper of Souls and Wildstar Online.
Up until now, none of those other distractions interested me. I became mildly interested in Rift, but after hearing other players not like it, I didn’t bother. But Wildstar has me piqued, as well as several other players in MT. And rather than fight it, I’m going with it. We have enough interest in it that we have decided to expand the guild into Wildstar Online. After messing around in the beta for a couple of weekends, it’s something that I’m probably going to play when it launches in June.
So Masochistic Tendencies has officially expanded into a multi-gaming community. We’re starting with just WoW and Wildstar, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility that other games will be added. A new site is under construction that will serve as the new home page for the guild. The new home page will then provide gateways to the guild WoW site and the guild Wildstar site. Before anyone asks, I don’t plan on being the leader for the MT Wildstar guild. I just don’t think I can make that big of a commitment to 2 games simultaneously. I will however likely remain an officer in the WS guild while maintaining the GL position in WoW.
I hope that this new community will create some crossover in guild membership. We already have MT WoW players in the MT WS guild. Hopefully we’ll also get some MT WS players into our MT WoW guild.
While I’m not thrilled about the current lull in activity in WoW, the upcoming launch of WS as well as the eventual WOD expac in WoW has me excited for the future of MT.
It happens at the end of every expansion. And it happens every summer. But when the end of the expansion is during summer, and we have to wait until the Fall for a new WoW expansion, that’s just bad. And by bad I mean awful. The suck. Ugh.
Wildstar Online launches in June. The new Diablo 3 expansion just launched last week. I don’t think anyone is even playing WoW anymore? What for? What is there to do? It’s happened to us. The lull hit us hard and it hit us early. After “the split” in January, of course activity tapered off. But we bounced back from that. However recently? Activity has come to a screeching halt. The kind of screeching halt that causes the 9 car pileup behind you.
We recruited a lot of new folks after the split and started running flex to get those people geared, and to give them something to do since we can’t fit them into our one 10-man normal group yet. But it’s awfully hard to retain them if there’s nothing else going on after Tuesday nights. If it’s not a Sunday, Monday or Tuesday, I’m happy to see one or two other players on when I login. Often, I login, say “rawr!” get no reply, open the guild list and realize I just said hello to myself. It’s been deserted since Reaper of Souls launched. On my battletag list, I’ll see 9-10 players online, with the “D” symbol. I’m not sure how it’s possible, but it will get worse when Wildstar launches. It will definitely get worse once we get a Garrosh kill.
This lull is bad for business. As much as I want to, recruitment will be pretty fruitless for a while. All we can really do is just wait for it to pass, and hope we don’t lose any more members in the process.
The beta hasn’t even hit yet, so everything can change. I’ve been saying for a while that I can’t wait for WOD. It looks awesome. But I have some pretty strong reactions to the proposed healer changes.
This is all from a Resto Druid standpoint, since that’s my primary healer.
Issue #1: Nerf to instant-heals
Over time, healers have gained a bigger and bigger arsenal of heals that they can cast while on the move, which removes the inherent cost that movement is intended to have for them, while also limiting players’ ability to counter healing in PvP. This left silences and crowd control (which we’re trying to curb—see “Pruning the Garden of War”) as the only ways to actually limit an enemy player’s healing output. We’re still preserving the option to instantly heal, but are reducing the number of instant-cast healing abilities overall. Here are some examples:
- Wild Growth (Restoration) now has a 1.5-second cast time.
- Uplift (Mistweaver) now has a 1.5-second cast time.
- Eternal Flame and Word of Glory now each have a 1.5-second cast time when specced Holy.
- Light of Dawn now has a 1.5-second cast time.
- Cascade, Divine Star, and Halo now each have a 1.5-second cast time.
- Prayer of Mending now has a 1.5-second cast time.
Druids have been the most mobile healers in the game. Healing on the run is how we roll. Adding an instant cast to our WG spell pretty much kills our big insta-AOE heal. This is a HUGE change for druids that use the Soul of the Forest talent. With this talent, I SM and WG together. So the question is, does the talent activate on the cast time now, INSTEAD of the HoT ticks?! If so, this talent will be useless again.
(For the non-druids out there, SOTF: Cast swiftmend and next spell = +100% haste)
SOO in 6.0 is going to suck. Let’s pile on the Dev Aura’s on Thokk! Oh and on all the movement fights? No more heals for anyone on … all the fights! Those farm bosses just got a lot harder folks.
(I’m thinking we’re going to be done raiding when 6.0 hits, unless Blizzard re-tunes the fights to accommodate these changes – which they mentioned they would, but we’ll see)
At least we’re keeping rejuv and lifebloom instant. Now our only AOE instant is the shroom bloom. Which brings me to…..
Issue #2: Wild Mushrooms.
To that end, we’re buffing heals less than we’re increasing creature damage. Heals will be deliberately less potent compared to health pools than before the item squish. [...]
[...] Another of our goals for healing in this expansion is to strike a better balance between single-target and multi-target healing spells. We’ve taken a close look at the mana efficiency of our multi-target heals, and in many cases, we’re reducing their efficiency, usually by reducing the amount they heal. Sometimes, but more rarely, raising their mana cost was a better decision. We want players to use multi-target heals, but they should only be better than their single-target equivalents when they heal more than two players without any overhealing. This way, players will face an interesting choice between whether to use a single-target heal or a multi-target heal based on the situation.
Blizzard is nerfing throughput so healers don’t overheal. However, our mushrooms rely on overhealing! How the foo are we supposed to bloom them?? Not to mention, this renders our T16 2-pc bonus useless in early WOD dungeons.
Issue #3: Removal of Spells
Finally, we’re removing the low-throughput, low-mana-cost heals like Nourish, Holy Light, Heal, and Healing Wave, because we think that while they do add complexity, they don’t truly add depth to healing gameplay.
On the surface, this doesn’t look like a huge deal. But let me remind everyone of what Resto Druids have for Mastery. It’s a buff called Harmony, which has to be actively maintained with direct healing spells. I’ve used nourish to keep this spell up if my Swiftmend is on CD. Ok, I’ll have to use RG more (which is more mana intensive). But as it is, I still don’t manage 100% uptime (I’m in the high 90%’s usually). This needs to be passive, Blizzard. We’re the ONLY healers that have to actively maintain our friggin’ mastery. Not cool!
Some healers are going to rejoice. The ones that “love a challenge”. I’ll probably try it out as we’re leveling through dungeons. But I’m leaning a bit toward dps’ing next xpac. I’m not one of the rejoicers. These changes have me worried. Very worried.
One of the questions on our guild application is to describe your “crowning glory” or best personal moment in WoW. I actually have three of them. And they all happened on my druid.
I love druids. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with my druid. I’ve been pretty one-dimensional this entire expansion, heals or GTFO. Two of my crowning moments have, naturally, been as a healer. They both came in Cataclysm. The first was the day after I ding’d 85 and accidentally solo-healed the first boss in Tol Barad (he was the only one active at the time). I was in greens and some dungeon blues. The second time was in Dragon Soul, I ended up solo-healing heroic Warmaster from the start of Phase 2.
The third crowning moment came last night. And I wasn’t even healing. Hell I wasn’t even dps’ing. Well I was… until This happened……
I was finally getting the chance to dps as a kitty, for the 2nd time in flex. And I didn’t do too shabby if I do say so myself! Oh look, Aly learned how to dps!
We were doing Malkorok on Flex. I’m not sure what the hell was going on, but everyone around me just died. I didn’t even realize the tanks were dead until I heard Tai yell “Oh no it’s up to Aly!” Or something to that effect…without even thinking about it I popped into bear form, hit my Heart of the Wild talent, hit taunt and barkskin and mauled the crap outta that fucker! It was down to me, Tubbs and Sarah (Rezzie – shoutout!). Tubbs went down, the boss was at 1%. Sarah went down. I GOT THIS! BOOM!
WHO SAYS BOSS LADY CAN’T TANK!!
That was pretty epic.
Druids can do everything! I can almost do everything! Except boom. I can bring the BOOM but I can’t.. you know…chicken boom. Oh well. Fun times!
(Stream credits go to Taiboku at Crohn’s Gamer)
It happens all the time. You think you want something, you go after it, then you either A) realize your limitations B) realize you never wanted it after all or C) live happily after after.
In game, I’ve accepted A and B. In real life, I’ve scored C. Even though this is “stupid cupid” day, this post is not about my life’s happily ever after. You would all be gagging yourselves with a spoon at the end of that kind of post! But I think that because I’ve found happiness in life, I’ve been able to realize and accept my role in this game.
Since the beginning of Cataclysm, I’ve had a personal identity crisis in game. Unfortunately, being a guild leader, I led the guild down the same confusing “where the fuck are we going” path. When we were raiding T 14 and T15, I thought I wanted more. I thought I wanted to be a heroic raider. I thought I wanted MT to be known as a heroic raiding guild.
I bought into the malarkey that being “casual” is “bad”. In Firelands I practically forced my raid team to go for heroic bosses. Shannox was easy enough. Majordomo wasn’t exactly a pushover but doable. Once we got them down, I wanted more. A lot more. The Raid Leader was very reluctant. Half the raid was all for it, the other half was not keen on wiping for 2 hours on a heroic boss when there was much loot to be had farming everything on normal.
So I had us form a “heroic-focused” group for Dragon Soul. Mavros came over from Broken to lead the group. Suddenly we went from a laid back fun raiding guild to a cold, serious “must kill everything no matter the cost” atmosphere. And the “cost” was good, likeable people that were not exactly heroic raiders. Mistakes were no longer tolerated, and players who didn’t perform at top level were suddenly kicked to the curb. We never kicked anyone out of the guild, but removing them from the group caused them to understandably leave the guild.
After riding the high of 8/8H in Cataclysm, the friction was palpable. We couldn’t even really celebrate killing heroic Deathwing because of how many in the guild felt slighted by one group’s progress. I was torn. I hated the atmosphere, but I loved being able to complete the final tier on heroic. So we plodded on. Our heroic kills opened a whole new door to recruiting. Players joined, knowing we were capable of being a heroic guild.
MOP hit, and we kept the Cataclysm momentum going. Slowly but surely, some players were getting left behind, despite trying to field 4 raid teams off the bat. The Team Moist dynamic has already been beaten to death. But it was my being originally part of that group, that I began to realize my limitations. My stress levels were suddenly through the roof. I couldn’t dedicate the time it took to farm rep, to max my toon with neverending dailies and the cesspool that is LFR. I’ve always known that I’ve had a slow-ish learning curve. And ultimately, it was the tornadoes that did me in. But realistically, I didn’t belong there.
In the buildup to “the breakup”, I was questioning my own place in the game and in the guild. I thought I wanted more out of the game, but I’d really don’t want to sacrifice sanity and fun for it. I’ve had a lot of “what was I thinking?” moments this xpac, and I don’t want to make the same mistakes again. I lost my game identity, and in the process, I lost MT’s identity as well.
I have come to the realization that I am a “casual” player. I am not a heroic player, and probably never will be. I have come to the realization that MT is, was and always will be a “casual” guild. I have accepted that nobody’s perfect, not even me. And you know what? I’m totally cool with that, because I”m having fun again! :)
Every Guild Leader will go through it at least once. The “why” is unique to each guild. The “how” is what defines the success or failure of the guild. MT itself has never gone through a rebuild. However, this is something I have had some experience with.
I have made mistakes as a Guild Leader – I am human after all. And as a former member said, the success and failures within a guild fall to the guild leader. We’ve tried new things, tried turning the guild into a different direction. We recruited players that fit the direction MT had gone in after going 8/8H in Cataclysm. Ultimately, that experiment didn’t work for MT. And the fallout and resulting fracture was devastating.
If I were to look for a silver lining in all this, if it had to happen, it really couldn’t happen at a better time. The expansion is winding down, many players need a break from the game, from raiding. We’ve been a big enough guild that we can still field a full 10 man raid group. We’re slowly but surely piecing everything back together. We will be completely regrouped for WOD. We’ll have new faces, and some old familiar faces will be returning. The leadership, for the first time this entire expansion, is finally on the same page and working toward the greater good of the guild.
During any rebuilding phase for any guild, it’s really important to communicate, support each other, and re-define who we are.
The primary mode of communication will still be the MT website. This blog and the MT Facebook page as well as the GMOTD are secondary avenues of communication. We want feedback. We want constructive criticism. Some of you have messaged me privately with ideas of what could have been done better, and what we can do going forward. I need that. We all need that. The guild is only as good as its members. And happy members = successful guild.
The leadership has to support each other and the guild. The Guild members have to support each other and the leadership. Many of you have simply gone on blind faith that every decision we’ve made (good or bad) had good intentions. Our decisions have always had good intentions behind them. But again, we’re human. We make mistakes.
The leadership throughout MOP has been completely fractured. Some officers and RL’s were acting out of the greater good of their group, not of the guild as a whole. I had almost no support from most of the guild officers. You were all pretty much spared the civil war that was waged in the officer forums. But I know you felt the tension. And the guild fracture was an inevitability because of the leadership. Rebuilding has to start at the top. And after TM left, that was priority #1.
In early MOP, we really didn’t have an identity. We went from being a casual raiding guild to a casual raiding guild with a hardcore team. And now we’re…what? A broken guild.
MT was at its most successful – and I define success as raiding, clearing normal current content, and enjoying the content and the people we play with – in Wrath and early Cataclysm. We were a guild of like-minded players who had similar goals and styles. We were ok with the “casual” tag (whatever the hell that even means anymore), and we didn’t care about where we ranked on the server. As Star said early on in MOP (and if only I listened to her in the first place, this wouldn’t have happened), if people are joining based on our guild rank, they won’t stick around when the going gets rough, and those aren’t the people we want to recruit.
A clear guild identity is crucial to our rebuilding efforts, because we want to recruit players who fit our identity. These players have to be fully vetted before joining MT. We want to be sure that we are a good fit for them, and they are a good fit for us. We cannot do this if we don’t know who we are.
Our identity going forward is a social raiding guild. We have goals of clearing both normal and heroic modes in WOD. We have goals of enjoying each other while we play and raid together. There will continue to be standards of raiding. We will work with players who have trouble keeping up, instead of kicking them to the curb. We will not have bipolar styles and goals in this guild. We will not have smaller groups that enable cliques. We will be a united group. A united guild.
In conclusion, in the face of adversity, we either give up, or strengthen ourselves so that it can be prevented in the future. How we respond to adversity defines who we are as people and as a guild. Any of the crap that has happened to MT in the past year or so would have destroyed smaller guilds. Maybe I’m just stubborn. Maybe I’m a Masochist. But this too shall pass, and we will be okay.
My guild asked for a new blog post. The title was suggested by our (other) resident tree Taiboku. Let me just say, I hate you all.
So here are the top 37 reasons why tree form is the best!
37. They have a cool dance
36. They heal ALL THE THINGS
35. They look better than ugly ass bear butts
34. They look better than ugly ass Boomkins
33. They look better than ugly ass cows
32. They look better than ugly ass trolls (except my troll. my troll is pretty)
31. They look better than ugly ass worgen
30. Do I really need to come up with 30 more reasons?
29. Because they’re awesome, need I say more?
28. They look like they belong at a disco when empowered
27. They’re leafy
26. They provide shelter
25. They’re majestic
24. They’re sexy
23. They’re huggable!
22. Go away you damn hippie
21. They look funny when they run around
20. Do I really have to come up with 20 more reasons?
19. Because I said so
18. Because Tai made me do it
17. They fall apart when they die
16. My hots are bigger than your hots
15. They give gnomes splinters
14. They’re virtually unkillable by the opposing faction
13. They can fly (wut?)
12. Well until they hit the ground….
11. They save your ass
10. They provide a wholesome snack in the midst of battle
9. They give “stick up the ass” a whole new meaning
8. They attract all the bird poop so nobody else has to wash it out of their hair
7. They provide the animals of Azeroth a place to pee
6. They provide low hanging fruit
5. They’re awesome to hang clothes on to dry after washing (thanks, Roger)
4. They make good firewood
3. They’re great to roast marshmallows on (thanks again, Roger)
2. Morning wood lasts all day
1. They grow their own sticks to beat
Tai people over the head with