Tuesday, July 30, 2013

3.21. Discriminatory Treatment

Neps confirms the evidence with Kerulak,
after they execute a pug clear of 40-Man Naxxramas
during The Burning Crusade.

Innocent By Association

The first time I repeated one of my mother's jokes in front of my wife, I knew there was a problem. I was raised in a small town named Parksville, along the coast of Vancouver Island, but my mother wasn't from there. She had been born in a town called Hudson Bay, in the northern regions of Saskatchewan. She had a conservative, strict family, and although the Holmes' were hard-working and quiet folk, they had a tendency to cling to some age-old biases. And as my mother learned from her environment, I too, absorbed these tendencies, without even giving them a second thought. So, when I sat down to dinner one evening and jokingly remarked:

"I wonder what the poor people are doing now?"

...my wife gave me a look of horror, her eyes wide with shock and embarrassment.

I knew there was a problem.

Part of this outdated programming led me to judge others too quickly, my first impressions resonating like a bell whenever it came time to make a decision. It happened time and again in my early days of running DoD, having already made up my mind about a player long after my gut continued to tell me otherwise. I'd ignore my gut, stick to my biased way of thinking...and end up making a bad judgement call. Ater was one of the first to show me this was just an illusion -- we think we think we know people in other groups better than we know ourselves.

What added to the complexity of my mother's lessons was a layer of morals, delivered in Aesop's fashion,  priming me for a certain way of thinking. These lessons, while noble in intent, often came across as black-and-white, good or evil, no gray area to explore. Among these was the familiar "You Are Who You Hang Around With". Run with a group of criminals, Mom reasoned, and you'll soon find that you've become a criminal as well.

This may explain why I grew to loathe the PvP community.

At face value, there was a lot to detest. PvPers made no secret that they felt they were "better than us". Raiding was for sissies and crybabies -- to them, the real skill came in how well you sized up another human being, how fast you turned their weak spots against them in the ring. Bosses were scripted; conversely, other players followed no such programming. PvPers talked a lot of shit, rarely opting to take the high ground when it came to dealing with other people. And why should they? They had their name, their titles and their gear lit up like the Las Vegas strip proving to us that they were true power in WoW. They played by nobody's rules but their own, they relied on nobody to get where they were. No oppressive guild could force a schedule onto them, tell them how to act or behave.

Every time I tried to push those biases aside and tolerate PvPers despite our differences, I'd always get a slap-in-the-face when I flipped between ElitistJerks.com and ArenaJunkies.com, the two online communities dedicated to the discussion of PvE and PvP, respectively. The former was a tightly run ship where only intelligent, thoughtful contributors were allowed. Moderation was swift and harsh to those who couldn't be bothered forming a coherent sentence. As for the latter, it was a cesspool of trolls, rife with profanity, accusation, and immaturity.

One thing has nothing to do with the other.


Neps & Mature in The Crimson Hall,
Icecrown Citadel

Trusting the Gut


When I began to contemplate another 2nd-in-command, I never gave any thought to promote Klocker because he'd hung up his healing hat. Klocker was now exclusively Retribution in our 25-Man progression raid. I needed a healer for a very important reason: Val’anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings. The legendary mace assembled from fragments put the power of the Titans at the fingertips of the healer that wielded it. But Klocker's days of healing were behind him. He would flip from time-to-time as needed, but it was no longer his passion, and the new edict in Descendants of Draenor demanded players choose what they loved to do, not what we needed them to do. So, rather than make a move to convince Klocker to play a role he didn't enjoy, I looked to someone who embraced the role. Someone who lived, breathed and died healing. Someone who had been healing long after I had hung up Kerulak's hooves, and had no intention of switching -- who knew the ins and outs of the job. More importantly, someone who I could trust and whom made decisions that were aligned with my own. Someone fiercely dedicated and loyal to us.

Someone like Neps.

But, it was Neps’ attachment to PvP that gave me my initial hesitation for promotion. Neps regularly ran with a crew of folks that had traditionally proven to be be unreliable in the long term. They were PvPers in my eyes, that "other group" I was perpetually disgusted with. Somehow, I believed I was an expert judge of them, up on my high horse. Neps had never given me a reason to doubt his reliance, yet the PvP thing continued to bother me. What impact would it have on the raiders? Was there a risk of that "nobody's going to tell me what to do" mentality bleeding back down into the roster? We had filled spots throughout Vanilla and TBC with anything we could get our hands on, and while we benefited from having a large number of players across multiple interests to choose from, when we plucked from the PvP pool, it was a often a crap shoot. And I saw promoting Neps as a very real risk to allow more of that style of player to stick their foot in the raid door, only to cause further mayhem down the road.

The brothers Ouleg and Ben were two players in particular whom Neps spent a great deal of time with. Ouleg, when present, would tear into bosses in Serpentshrine Cavern with extreme prejudice, often dealing more damage than that of our regular raiding Warlocks. But, he was quick to come up with excuses to leave the raid if things looked bleak, “Yeah guys, I think my girlfriend's calling me for something” after our fifth wipe on Hydross the Unstable. Ben wasn't too far off from his brother. A fantastic player behind the wheel of a Shadow Priest or Boomkin...if you could get him to show up. If he wasn't completely drunk off his ass. And while neither Ouleg nor Ben themselves were the ones being considered for promotion, I continually dwelt on this association Neps had with them, and whether or not it would become a distraction.

Or worse.

A Second Opinion

I took Dalans aside and shared my concerns with him, broaching the possibility of promoting Neps as another 2nd-in-command to share duties. I told him of the plan involving Val'anyr, and how it made the most sense to go with Neps, but that I had lingering doubts. Dalans reminded me that Neps had been playing the role of Priest officer for nearly the entirety of The Burning Crusade, and had never shown me any reason to doubt his loyalty thus far. My gut told me he was the guy to go with, but the PvP "facts" continued to rub me the wrong way. When I brought up the concerns I had about the PvP crowd, Dalans was logical in his response.

"Anni was of the best officers this guild ever had. High Warlord, remember?"

He had a point.

"Wasn't Blain one of the first players on the server with a Vengeful Nether Drake in TBC?"

Two points for Dalans.

"I wouldn't worry too much about who he runs with. Neps is fine. I'd trust him before I would any of the other morons. If he hasn't given you any reason to doubt his dedication, he won't."

The second opinion was delivered, saying exactly what my gut was telling me all along. Go with Neps. Forget about the PvP crowd. Who he hangs with and what he chooses to do for fun has nothing to do with the person he is. And if Mom was right, and you truly become the type of person you hang around with...well, that would mean Neps was exactly that person right now.

...and there wasn't a single thing I could point to that would cause me to distrust him.

That evening, I went over the ground rules for 2nd-in-command, and made it clear he'd be the first in line to receive Val'anyr. He graciously accepted the promotion, and the guild joined in a round of congratulations for their favorite Priest on his continued service to DoD.

--

I glanced down toward the chat window in the lower-left hand corner of the screen.

Blain has come online

For a guy who retired from World of Warcraft four months earlier, he showed up an awful a lot. I sent him a tell.

“Hey”

“Sup”

“I’ve gone ahead and restored your administrative privileges to the guild. You won’t need to worry about the raid expectations, nothing’s changed there.”

I popped open the guild panel and clicked the promote button several times.

Blain has been promoted to Old God

"Carry on" I said in another whisper.

He replied with a smiley.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

As someone who did the old school PVP grind, I have to say two things:

1. One of the reasons people who were seriously in the HWL mix were unreliable was because of the sheer amount of time you had to dedicate to grinding. It was impossible to piss away ten hours a day raiding right in the middle of seriously trying to make rank.

2. A lot of your feelings in this post are really one-sided. As someone who did the grind on Deathwing and knew everyone involved (until it wasn't a new thing anymore) no one harbored any ill will towards DoD or raiding guilds in general. The majority, if not all, of the first crop of rank 12-14 players on both sides were in raiding guilds that were further progressed than DoD and either slacked off or took a break from raiding while they did the grind.

One of the reasons I felt the need to point this out is because a good portion of your blog posts contain jabs towards people who, to be blunt, didn't even interact with you in any capacity. You bring up Bru, PPP, Depraved, now people who did the PVP grind, and talk about how they negatively impacted your WoW experience in some capacity, when, frankly, most did not know about you, they didn't concern themselves with your guild, and they never personally attack you in any way.

Shawn Holmes said...

@Anonymous,

Thanks for reading! While it may not have been clear, the intent of this post (and earlier ones referencing folks from PPP, Depraved, etc.) was to convey the following two points:

1. My animosity toward people based on the company they kept or the style of game they chose to play was irrational. It came from a old, biased way of thinking that I had to grow out of while learning how to be an effective leader. I think this is an important story to tell because a lot of players suffer from the same affliction, unfairly judging people on those traits.

2. Regardless of whether or not these folks chose to interact with me or harbored grudges toward me, the decisions their actions had (eg. poaching my raid team, coming up with excuses mid-raid to excuse themselves) negatively impacted my ability to lead a raiding guild...which is what this memoir is about.

Sadly, I can't do much about your issue of the memoir being one-sided; it is, after all, a collection of my own thoughts. Hopefully astute readers will pick up that this entire memoir is conveying the story of my growth as a guild leader, and part of that growth involved making some bad decisions, and then learning from them.

Dalans said...

@Anon: Your first point seems to contradict itself (and your statement at the end of #2) at least from the point of view of: if you were going for HWL, you weren't raiding. You could pick one or the other and at least for the members we had going for the title, we did not label them as unreliable for that reason.

As a dedicated healer/flag runner for Annihilation (when Freya or Lix were not available) during his HWL grind I can tell you he had no intentions of raiding because of the way Honor Points and ranking had been structured at the time.

I'll briefly touch on the animosity that arose from the "hey I'll get this many honor points this week so you can go all out next week" agreement that had been setup between some HWLs that others decided to ignore. True, there is nothing stopping someone from going all out and ignoring what was said as anything in that vein of reasoning existed outside of the game mechanics but it still occurred. Those feelings may or may not have projected onto a larger group of people because of it. Once again this is only my personal experience and anecdotal evidence from what I remember, YMMV.

As for the Bru/Depraved/PPP hate, again I can only speak from my own experiences and not all were bad. However it was a mixed bag.

I do wonder, how long have you been reading the blog? Because really only a handful of posts even touch on the subject of further progressed "hardcore" guilds or even mention Bru by name (only one if I recall correctly).

You may have not been around but I do recall a certain world boss event that had a negative impact because of Bru's notorious behavior. I won't go into specifics because at this point what does it matter but to respond to your statement of:

"You bring up Bru, PPP, Depraved, now people who did the PVP grind, and talk about how they negatively impacted your WoW experience in some capacity, when, frankly, most did not know about you, they didn't concern themselves with your guild, and they never personally attack you in any way."

How would you know?

Kedavra said...

Frankly, I completely understand his perception of PvP'ers. As a HWL-turned-raider I know exactly to what Shawn is referring because I was guilty of it, for a time, even in my former guild (AJFA/Vile prior to joining DoD). Some folks didn't have the patience to deal with the drudges of raiding particularly when climbing the PvP ranks was already completely mind-numbing (which was my issue).

Let's be honest: early raiding was full of drudgery, which more than frightened off several players.

PvP was geared toward players who enjoyed immediate gratification (even later this became an issue with the gear rewards when the arenas were introduced). The irony is that it was such a huge grind to get any of the rewards in vanilla, but the process shortens attention spans as well as patience.

Shawn had been burned by this quality on multiple occasions, so you can't really blame him for formulating a perspective of PvP'ers as folks who are inherently unreliable. Only a handful of players in his experience have ever proven otherwise, but those particular players didn't approach PvP for the same reasons:

Anni chose PvP to achieve a goal (like me), Blain only achieved PvP stardom after having been a raid leader for so long, and Neps... well I can't speak for Neps because he hardly spoke to me, but I think he was a PvP'er in the sense that he enjoyed experiencing the game in it's entirety. For example, he was one of the forerunners of establishing the Alliance DoD on Deathwing when it became available. They were just different types of people.

Dalans said...

@Kedavra: Neps didn't talk to you because really no one likes snobby pre-meds. JK

"PvP was geared toward players who enjoyed immediate gratification"

I like to call this Counterstrike syndrome.

Anonymous said...

Dalans,

My statements absolutely did not contradict themselves. The majority of the people who achieved ranks 12-14 early on did so while simultaneously in raiding guilds. This is applicable to both Alliance and Horde.

This directly conflicts with what was written in the blog:

"At face value, there was a lot to detest. PvPers made no secret that they felt they were "better than us". Raiding was for sissies and crybabies -- to them, the real skill came in how well you sized up another human being, how fast you turned their weak spots against them in the ring. Bosses were scripted; conversely, other players followed no such programming. PvPers talked a lot of shit, rarely opting to take the high ground when it came to dealing with other people. And why should they? They had their name, their titles and their gear lit up like the Las Vegas strip proving to us that they were true power in WoW. They played by nobody's rules but their own, they relied on nobody to get where they were. No oppressive guild could force a schedule onto them, tell them how to act or behave."

The fact of the matter is, whether the author is speaking in specific terms (PVPers made no secret they felt they were better than DoD) or general terms (PVPers made it no secret they felt they were better than raiding guilds) in both cases it's false. Like I've said multiple times now, the majority of the first batch of rank 12-14 people were actually in raiding guilds, guilds that were further progressed than DoD by an entire raid tier or more.

As for the second part, I've read the entire blog and there's been multiple jabs at specific guilds and people throughout it. The reason I mentioned it was because, like I said, the apparent distaste is completely one-sided. I was involved in both grinding rank as soon as the honor system was introduced and raiding in essentially all of the guilds that led Horde progression. At no point was anyone in the HWL race ranting about PVE guilds and at no point was Bru or any other member of the top Horde guilds ranting about DoD. I was actually participating in all of this, that's how I would know.

I just wanted some clarification as to whether this is artistic license by the author or a delusion.

Kelden said...

In order to save Shawn from having to delete my comment, I have absolutely nothing to add to this argument whatsoever.

.
.
.

Bunnies.

Dalans said...

@Anon: I think you are getting caught up on the fact that you are only speaking of the HWL group or the group of players with rank 12-14 in Vanilla PvP...you do realize that while all the HWLs count as PvP players not all PvP players were part of that specific group?

The statement "PvPers made no secret that they felt they were "better than us". Raiding was for sissies and crybabies -- to them, the real skill came in how well you sized up another human being, how fast you turned their weak spots against them in the ring" is based on the opinions of the author and is not meant to be a statement of fact. You have a different opinion, great, agree to disagree. But there is no denying that the stereotype exists and would give pause when assessing the mindset of a potential guild member, which is what this blog post is outlining.

You're saying "One of the reasons people who were seriously in the HWL mix were unreliable..." which I disagree with because if you were doing the HWL grind there should be no expectation that you should be raiding at the same time hence those players should not be counted as unreliable. Then you go on to point out "The majority, if not all, of the first crop of rank 12-14 players...either slacked off or took a break from raiding while they did the grind" so which is it? You think they are unreliable due to the HWL grind or they are not because they chose to take a break from raiding, this would be the contradiction.

Where in any part of this topic does it specifically state the that group of HWLs were unreliable? It does not; you are injecting your own experiences and saying "hey this does not apply to me, the whole post must be wrong." Your personal experiences are different from mine as they are different from the author's. This post is an overarching idea and not specifically calling out you and your group of HWL PvP players. If you don't fit the narrative, congratulations.

Furthermore, Depraved, Terminus, PPP, Enigma (whichever iteration you'd like to choose) are only mentioned in three posts which range from them inviting members from an assistance standpoint in order to get experience to them recruiting members from our guild. Bru is only mentioned by name in one post and is the same content that has already been stated: he may be a great leader but his personality is abrasive at best. Any other "jab" or "distaste" has been falsely projected by you due to your own misconceptions.

Kedavra said...

@Anon

Dalans makes an excellent point here:

1) Ranks approaching 12-14 most certainly did NOT contain people who were on the grind AND raiding. You were already on 24/7 for the PvP alone. I know this from having achieved rank 14 myself. Now, having said this, I will admit that I would duck out of the grind for maybe 2 hours to help the raid on occasion, but fitting into a raid schedule would have been impossible (45 minute queues anyone?). Neither Zito, Zande, Anni, Ipkonfig, or any other HWL/GM's I'm aware of raided simultaneously. Considering I saw them on the field day in and day out, I'm hard pressed to recall anyone with such incredible time-management skills.


Now, I'll throw you a bone because there is one part of Shawn's post that I agree with you on:

The statement that PvP'ers in that era never relied on anyone is also not true. Making any kind of significant headway on the honor system required some form of an organized group. We know this because WSG days one needed to WIN. If you could soak up the maximum amount of honor each day killing folks, then AV would have been lucrative beyond a doubt. As it were, this was not the case. In addition, when encountering an honor-capped opposing farm group in AB, we'd purposefully throw the match in order to help move things along. This is why it sucked when a rogue group would come in out of the blue and steam roll the Honor for a week, setting you back.

Let me know what you think.

Narkan said...

Dalans:

In regards to the last paragraph of your last post, I think it's pretty clear who a lot of the "non-specific" ire references. I certainly think it's fair to assume that the guilds Anon (who is not me by the way) has listed generally fit the bill. For instance, the one post about Baite... yeah come on, we kind of know where he ended up. Generally too, when there's talk about "those PvPers", I think it's pretty safe to say PPP is the number one guild that's going to top that list, because that's where they all gravitated anyway.

What I will say is that a lot of these issues that are generally being brought up here are ones that are direct consequences of overall server health/vibrancy. All WoW servers were clique-y to some extent, I think that's just a natural consequence of any community, particularly one that has very observable "status" checks. Deathwing was probably the worst about it in terms of the servers I played on because there really was no middle ground. Look at servers for the first couple of expansions that had better end game raiding guilds (Mal'Ganis, Illidan, Kil'Jaeden, KT, etc...): not only would they have more guilds doing progression level content, they also had more guilds in the middle and even a PUG raiding scene that was more progressed than a majority of the guilds that existed on Deathwing. If a mid-range guild needed players, they always had someone that they could get who was at a similar raiding tier and could jump right in, instead of always having to build someone up or pray for a server transfer.

The consequence of not being vibrant for Deathwing was that you had in Vanilla and TBC, extremely segregated tiers of guilds: there were a few at the top (who overall made up fairly little of their player base from other guilds: most of the time, these guilds relied on server transfers, not gearing up existing players), more at the bottom, and very few that could sometimes be considered mid-range (I'd consider that DoD started to break into that category towards the end of Vanilla, though by that point as was pointed out in a previous reply to one of my comments, many of the top tier guilds had just ceased to exist). That lack of dynamism absolutely killed Terminus in TBC: on the one hand, they had trouble recruiting server transfers because transfers worried about having no equivalent raiding options if it didn't work out, on the other they couldn't actually get any players from other guilds because we were the only BT game in town for a long time. They also refused to key people up and train them (even for people that they had known for a long time and who were "safe bets"), but that's kind of a separate issue (though again, probably somewhat reflective of poor server health -- there really just wasn't enough of a player base that could sustain successfully clearing non-progression content). The net result is that players get stuck and either have to accept worse raiding situations (as I did when Terminus imploded and went to reform PPP v2, pretty much defacto running it for half of its existence), or they get stuck in guilds that don't suit them and who can't really get rid of them (as it sounds like was the situation with Ouleg). Eventually, they just leave altogether, and then the segregated raiding scene problem becomes even worse. I stopped paying attention after the beginning of WOTLK for deathwing, so don't apply what I've said here after that, I simply cannot comment on it.

Narkan said...

Yeah Kerulak, I knew Ouleg enough to know I didn't like him much either, and his was a type I ran into a lot too, so I get what you're saying: the kind of player who is great to have around when there's new stuff to do, and a real pain in the ass when it's farm night. I just think it's worth mentioning that what you've described as a bias specific to PvPers, is probably much more an issue with the fact that Deathwing really just... was a pretty bad server. It sounds like if you had reasonable options to replace him you would have, but it does not surprise me that this didn't happen. There's always going to be some movement from lower progressed guilds to higher ones: but I think it's worth commenting that what probably made it harder isn't so much that these players got taken/left, but rather that there was no opportunity for the process to work in your favor. It's really not meant as a dig, but more a reflection of the reality that there were really few options for any guild attempting progression content to get established good players at their tier from within Deathwing.

Shawn Holmes said...

@Narkan,

I'd say your last two observations are pretty astute, and I'd concur. Layered on top of the struggles of learning/dealing with guild leadership was that undeniable fact that Deathwing-US was a tough hand to be dealt. I played the hand as best I could, until at which point (circa Wrath) I adopted strategies to tip the odds slightly more in my favor -- and not have to simply "settle".

Dalans said...

@Narkan: I spoke with Shawn concerning the PvP comments earlier this afternoon and it is a general statement nothing more. It isn't directed at any specific group let alone any time frame whether it be Vanilla, TBC, Wrath or beyond, nor was it directed even to our server.

If the great Horde PvPers ended up all in PPP at one time or another, so be it, but that paragraph was included just to show that PvP oriented players were very different from PvE oriented players.

Was there ire for the more progressed guilds? Sure. The loss of Baite (it was even brought up in an earlier post that he did go to PPP) was a misstep and we paid the price for it but we also lost Chopliver later on who decided to test the hardcore waters and decided it wasn't for him. IIRC he ended up server transferring.

I wholly agree Deathwing was a terrible place for recruiting and was a major cause for cross guild recruiting. Probably the only group that had it worse off than us was the Malorne server...ha ha, Malorne'd.

Matt Morrison said...

As someone who is completely outside of the server looking in, I would like to point out that the title of this particular memoir is "Discriminatory Treatment". I don't think that Shawn has once made it seem like he was always in the right or that others were in the wrong... he is simply explaining his trials and tribulations in running a guild that obtained the success that DoD did.

Obviously he will have thoughts in his head about one situation or another which will involve very real people, but that does not mean that a memoir about those events should be taken as someone taking jabs or trying to achieve some sort of superiority.

I believe that the people who has a more intimate relationship to the subject material are most likely projecting something on the text as they are reading it and while that is understandable just realize that those of us reading it for the enjoyment of seeing what he and his guild were able to accomplish and maybe even sharing some laughs as we have all been in those situations, those people, really don't read much into it... about how much of a jerk this person was... or how all of those people were bad...

A lot of people understand that everyone has opinion and everyone has bias... and I am willing to bet the type of people who will follow a WoW memoir, 47 blog posts deep, has no reason to take it as anything more.

Keep up the great work Shawn and thank you for sharing your lessons and insights.

Shawn Holmes said...

@Matt,

Thanks for the support, Matt.

"LIKE"

Anonymous said...

Shawn, I read all of your posts over several days and I wanted to say that I found them extremely interesting and I will be continuing to follow the blog.

Also I want to commend you on running a guild for 8 years. That is far and above the length of time that the vast majority can do it, even with long running guilds. The majority of long running guilds have had multiple changes in leadership. I'm sure you know that but I had to just state it.

I was only able to properly lead my guild for 2 years before I burned out, the constantly rotating guild roster is what did it for me.

As for the topic I can't blame you with how you felt. First of all it is normal to judge a person by who they keep company with in all aspects of life, and while it may not be fair it is normal. You may have realized it was wrong in this case but you are not wrong to state how you perceived it.

Secondly I ran my guild as what for a time was a fairly successful hardcore/casual raid and pvp guild (eventually the pvp exclusive side split and we ended up becoming mostly just a raiding guild). While we had members that both pvped and raided that I greatly respected we also had those pvp members who acted in the exact ways you've experienced (flakey attendance, dropping the raid after several wipes etc).

On a different note, for the Vanilla HW grind, I was not a guild leader then but was a raider. In the guild I was a member of we had three of four HWs that were part of the raiding scene. I remember that one of them did stop raiding while he earned his title but the others raided too, the raids were only for 2 nights a week 3 hours at a time though. That guild had a group that would pvp on the side but a lot of it was IMO that they could completely destroy everyone with the pve gear. I have never played on Deathwing so I can't speak for anything on there.

Anyway keep up the good work!

Shawn Holmes said...

@Anonymous,

Thanks for the support and becoming an 8YIA fan!

As you've stated, there are many excellent players out there that PvP and Raid, and whom were also reliable -- I can name a few from my own experience as well, Annihilation, Haribo (and of course, Neps). Sadly, it was the rotten apples that spoiled the entire basket for me, at times.

I think it was important to tell this part of the story because, in the end, they weren't flaky because they PvP'd (or not)...they were flaky because of the people the were *long* before WoW came around.

That's an important distinction for a good guild leader to make.

Littlebear said...

One thing I think being missed here, is all along this blog, Shawn has been very open about his process.

1) Here is what I was thinking, and why
2) Here is where it was correct or incorrect.
3) Here is what happened to make me change my mind, if needed.

I believe this is the underlying theme of the entire blog, and much of his writing in general. (The 5 Fetishes article will come up in the future. its already been hinted at.)

"A lot of your feelings in this post are really one-sided"

Of course they are. its a blog about his personal feelings, and the history of DoD, not an article on the history of Deathwing. He isn't required to be fair to all sides, research facts, or cite sources.

personally, even though I don't become involved until later, I love this accounting of the history of people I admire and respect, and am privileged to call friends.

gabby said...

Strange, in my wotlk heydays, I was both a raid officer and an avid pvper
My guild wasn't the best, but we did take down heroic LK eventually. At the same time I got my main boomkin to 2.3k rating in 3v3 and 2v2 arena.

I was genuinely perplexed by your bias,because my own bias seemed to be a complete opposite to yours.

When scouting for recruits, I always kept my eye open for pvpers, especially those I pvp with. Somehow those who perform well in pvp usually perform equally well, if not better during raiding.

In fact, before allowing a pvper to join my guild, we usually go through several friendly duel, and queue several arena/bg first. The objective wasn't to determine who was better, just to make sure that the new recruit completely understand his character (cds, surviviability, reflexes, movement, etc)

Of course plenty of raiders don't pvp but are still kickass raiders. However, it is much easier to know whether a pvper is a good raider, unlike normal raiders. Some raiders dish out insane dps, but when it comes to survival battles/ offhealing, positioning, fails miserably. Often this will be discovered too late, but most pvper I know never screw up these aspects. If they can't dps or refuse to follow orders, it can be discovered quickly.

Kelden said...

I find that judging people early and often is a highly effective way of weeding out idiots and keeping my blood pressure down. While doing some training for work recently, I was told that the average person forms an opinion about someone within the first 4 seconds of meeting them, and that sounds about right to me.

For the most part I agree with Shawn's opinions about those who PvP. Some of them are good in short bursts, but unreliable over time. There are the occasional exceptions such as those mentioned already. The only other one I can think of would be Rettick.

Personally I always preferred judging people by what guild(s) they were in previously, but the point is the same. You are the same as the company you keep. If you were ever a member of guilds like BERSERKER, Daybreakers, Sect of Sylvanas, etc. etc., then chances are excellent that you are a complete and total dbag not worthy of my time.

It's the same concept that makes police profiling so effective, and so controversial.

Shawn Holmes said...

@gabby,

No question, having good PvPers very often equated to having good raiders, for no other reason that they possessed a great understanding of their class -- they needed to! Not knowing their class meant swift and repeated deaths in PvP.

The problem in my case was the reliability factor -- I wanted to put faith into them and be assured that they'd continue to show up and contribute to progression, week-after-week, but it was a lost cause.

Ultimately, it came down to their goals being different than that of the core progression team: PvPers wanted to...well, PvP! To them, raiding was a thing to do the fill up non-PvP time. As a result, they didn't give raiding the attention I needed them to give it, and disappointed me repeatedly in the process -- not by a failure to perform, but by a failure to **show up in the first place**.

@Kelden,

Stop trolling!

gabby said...

Now that I think about it, reliability did became an problem at a certain point.Funnily enough however, the problem actually stopped as the influx of pvpers increase. (at least half of my guild were pvpers at that time)

I think there were several reasons for this.
Our pvpers consisted of a tightly-knitted community, where every pvper is either an arena partner/bg partner/duel training partner of multiple guild members.Therefore during raids, the pvpers whose partners are raiding have nothing to do other than raid.

With more pvpers, we can organize multiple bg parties before raids to quickly stomp the bg and complete the daily grind.

Many pvpers who shows interest in raiding are actually completionists who enjoys every aspect of WOW, or/and are achievement hunters. As a completionist myself, I find myself frequently associated and stereotyped as a pure pvper. Once there was a complete stranger who requested to join my guild after an intense duel with him. The moment I found out he had an Insane title, any hesitation faded away and I recruited him. In no time, his dedication made him one of the most reliable raid officer in my guild.

ICC heroic weapons and trinket are stronger than pvp weapons for certain build...

To conclude, I feel that guild officers/leaders who do participate in some pvp should not be too hesitant to recruit pvpers. As a plus points, the guild can offer many more services such as honour farming, arena boosting, pvp training, world pvp fun etc etc.

Shawn Holmes said...

@gabby,

It's funny how our experiences are similiar, yet different. The three players I knew that grinded Insane out all quit the game shortly after earning the title.

I think that Feat of Strength is cursed.